We’ve all heard the tired phrase: opposites attract. Maybe you’re a liberal agnostic Buddhist and they’re a conservative Southern Baptist. Maybe they’re into the White Stripes and you’re into Tim McGraw.
Sure, it makes for interesting, divergent conversations over espresso (for you) and a white chocolate mocha with whip (for them). However, when it comes to sticking it out for the long haul, you want someone who has similar interests.
But what if in life there were perfect compromises and shared bliss in opposing ideologies?
With that, I bring you the mix ‘n’ match lovers’ lasagna.
Like a craftmatic adjustable bed, this lasagna allows for each person to cater to their own preferences. Meat lovers and veggie lovers unite in one glorious, cheese-filled oblivion!
What you’ll need:
- Your favorite tomato sauce, 16 -32 ounces (depending on how juicy you like your lasagnas – personally, I prefer to be quite saucy. Mow.) Might I suggest my Granny Zeller’s marinara sauce.
- 1 package of lasagna noodles (will use 6 total)
- One large carton of ricotta cheese (roughly 1 lb.)
- 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 package of 8 ounce Italian cheese (usually comes with mozzarella, parmesan, reggiano, etc.)
- Freshly grated parmesan
- A filler (or two!) of your choice:
- 1) 1/2 lb. italian sausage (or ground beef) and half of a chopped sweet onion, or
- 2) 1 lb. of assorted mushrooms (will need 1 TB of olive oil and 1 TB of butter), or
- 3) 1 package of frozen spinach
Okay, the thing to remember about this dish is that its content is totally up to you and your lover! If your lover like tons of meat (like my husband), but you prefer mushrooms (like me), it’s no problem! You can make a half-sausage, half-mushroom lasagna. Or a half-mushroom, half-sausage-mushroom. Or a half-spinach, half-mushroom. You get the idea. Go nuts!
Simmer your marinara and keep warm.
Cook lasagna noodles according to the package directions, usually about 10-12 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse with cold water.
If making a half-meat lasagna:
Brown sausage (or beef) lightly in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions after meat begins to brown. Once browned, drain off any excess fat. Combine half of tomato sauce with the meat-onion mixture (into another pan or bowl).
If making a half-mushroom lasagna:
Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat in skillet. Add assorted mushrooms. Sautee until mushrooms are squeaky (when pressed) and soft, about 4-5 minutes. Combine half of tomato sauce with mushrooms (into another pan or bowl).
If making a half-spinach lasagna:
Cook frozen spinach in boiling water according to the package, or about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Pour onto paper towel to blot excess water. Combine half of tomato sauce with spinach (into another pan or bowl).
If you are comfortable with manning a busy stove, feel free to keep a couple of pans going at the same time. (See below.) If not, no worries, you may do it step-by-step just as easily.
Spread out about 1/2 cup of one half of the bottom of lasagna pan with one tomato mixture, and one half of the bottom of the lasagna pan with the other. Put three lasagna noodles on top. Place half of the ricotta cheese over lasagna noodles, spreading evenly. Cover with 1/3 of the mozzarella and 1/3 of the Italian cheese.
Start next layer with the different tomato mixtures on each matching half. Place remaining three noodles on top. Place remaining half of ricotta cheese over lasagna noodles, again, spreading evenly. Cover with 1/3 of the mozzarella and 1/3 of the Italian cheese. Top with remaining tomato mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses and include however much desired parmesan on top.
Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes. Take foil off, and bake until top of cheese is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly around the sides. If browns too quickly, cover loosely.
Let lasagna cool approximately 10 minutes before serving. Optional: sprinkle a dash of oregano for garnish. Serve with your favorite garlic bread or garlic knots.
[Source: Brave New Food.]